In the days ahead, social media will be flooded with photos of kids holding signs indicating their new class year at school. There will also be pictures of teachers proudly displaying the same sentiment, “My 5th year teaching!” or “My 14th year teaching” which is what my sign would have said this year. But for COVID-19.
Due to falling into a category where chances of a difficult recovery from COVID-19 are statistically higher, I’ve elected to sit out this year. My school, which I dearly loved, is celebrating the start of the new school year today, August 25, 2020, in a hybrid formula, with some students in class five days a week, and some students attending school virtually throughout the school day. I wish my former colleagues the best of luck during this stressful time.
Today, I am holding the #1, marking my first year (again) in a career situation. I will be offering my services to tutor and/or teach via Zoom, while continuing with my freelance writing career. These are all things I had planned on doing during retirement, but I was hoping to decide when that would be, not based upon my doctor’s recommendation, my family’s urging, or my concern over my own health.
My first career, from 1978-2002, was in the legal field, primarily in commercial real estate and shopping center management. For two years my family lived overseas where I volunteered at the international school my daughters attended. Upon our return to the US, I began working in education, first as a youth minister from 2004-2007, and then as a middle school language arts teacher from 2007-2020. While teaching writing to 7th and 8th graders, my own creative juices pushed me into my third career, as a freelance writer, with profiles and articles being published in regional parenting magazines from my area.
As I struggled with my decision all summer, I experienced the same anxiety and restlessness that many teachers and parents have felt. While I will greatly miss the daily contact and connection with my students and colleagues, I know this is the right decision for me.
My goal is to document this first year of change here on this site with daily posts about all of my favorite things in life: family, friends, faith, food, teaching, reading, and writing. Follow me on this journey as I begin with Year 1 (again).
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